La Salle Lake SNA






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Minnesota DNR








La Salle Lake SNA was designated June 27, 2011. It is part of the La Salle Lake State Recreational Area.

On July 2, 2012, a severe thunderstorm went through Clearwater and Hubbard Counties. Itasca State Park, La Salle Lake SNA, and La Salle Lake State Recreational Area were all in the path of the thunderstorm. The storm brought straight line winds with speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. Especially hard hit was the jack pine forest in this SNA southwest of the confluence of the Mississippi River and LaSalle Creek. In this area almost every tree was uprooted or snapped.

A year later, in June, 2013, most of the fallen trees have been removed but a few remain. The fallen trees, along with tree stumps and large branches, litter the ground over what remains a large debris field. Plant species usually found only in woodlands, including round-lobed hepatica, wild sasparilla, and Canada mayflower, grow in this area with no overstory.

Nature has years of decomposition and revegetation work to accomplish here. Until then, visitors will stumble over debris concealed under a fresh understory of early successional species.












Detail map (MN DNR)

La Salle Lake SRA map (MN DNR)


Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates

  Printable map      



268.7 acres




N47 20.983, W95 10.381

N47 20.970, W95 10.613


Driving Directions

  Area and County  

Get driving directions from Google Maps to this destination from any address, and send those directions to your phone.

          Hubbard County  
          Northwest Minnesota  

Hiking Trails


A short mowed trail (in 2013) leads from the parking area northwest to an overlook with a partially obstructed view.




All hunting and trapping. See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

  Ecological Section    

N. Minnesota Drift & Lake Plains

  Ecological Subsection    

Chippewa Plains

  Land Type Association    

Becida Till Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Central Rich Dry Pine Woodland

Jack Pine - (Bush Honeysuckle) Woodland: Bracken Subtype

Red Pine - White Pine Forest

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland: Balsam Fir Subtype

Sedge Meadow

White Cedar Swamp (Northcentral)

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp

  * Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources      

Natural Features


Glacial tunnel valley, LaSalle Creek, and undisturbed natural shore of the Mississippi River.











Several places along the bluff on the south side of the Mississippi River valley provide a scenic but obstructed view of the Mississippi River valley. There is a spectacular, unobstructed overlook at the northernmost point of the bluff. The La Salle Lake State Recreational Area map shows a hiking trail leading from the parking area to this overlook. In June 2013 the trail was not discernible on the ground.





Mississippi River Footbridge

Coffeepot Landing, a public canoe access, is adjacent to this SNA. It includes a footbridge across the Mississippi River.





Visitor Photos

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Crystal Boyd

    La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA  
    La Salle Lake SNA      

East Parking

    La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA  

West Parking

    La Salle Lake SNA      

Mowed Trail

    La Salle Lake SNA      

Coffeepot Landing

    La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA  
    La Salle Lake SNA      

Mississippi River

    La Salle Lake SNA      

Scenic Overlook

    La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA  
    La Salle Lake SNA      

Obstructed Overlooks

    La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA  
    La Salle Lake SNA      

Debris Fields, 2013

    La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA  
    La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA  



La Salle Lake SNA
  La Salle Lake SNA  

La Salle Lake SNA is part of a larger landscape recognized for many years as an exceptional place. The clear-running La Salle Creek, its source in Itasca State Park, meanders north along a narrow valley formed as a glacial tunnel valley.




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  La Salle Lake Scientific and Natural Area Virtual Hike
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Dec 4, 2020

La Salle Lake SNA is part of a larger landscape recognized for many years as an exceptional place.

The clear-running LaSalle Creek meanders north at the base of a steep-sided glacial tunnel valley. Fed by seeps and springs, the stream flows through many high-quality plant communities such as red pine-white pine forest, white cedar swamp, sedge meadows and willow-dogwood shrub swamps before joining the Mississippi River downstream of the popular Coffee Pot canoe landing.

La Salle Lake Scientific & Natural Area blowdown

Published on Jul 5, 2012

Winds of over 80 mph leveled a jack pine forest in northwestern Minnesota durning a severe thunderstorm on July 2, 2012.

A Walk in the La Salle Lake Scientific & Natural Area blowdown

Published on Jul 5, 2012

A short but difficult walk in the tangled aftermath of the July 2, 2012 wind storm that struck parts of northwestern Minnesota, including the La Salle Lake Scientific and Natural Area where this video was taken three days after the storm.




Visitor Sightings

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Crystal Boyd


Insects and Arachnids


fireflies (Ellychnia sp.)

tricolored/orange-belted bumblebee (Bombus ternarius--queen)

  tricolored/orange-belted bumblebee  



juneberry (Amelanchier sp.)

blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

wild strawberry






One bird species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen here:

Special Concern

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)


Minnesota DNR Bird checklist


American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Eastern Wood-peewee (Contopus virens)

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

  Black-capped Chickadee  



Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fishes List


Fungi and Lichens


Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum)

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

  Artist’s Conk  

Insects and Arachnids


Two insect and arachnid species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

Special Concern

microcaddisfly (Oxyethira itascae)

unhorned microcaddisfly (Oxyethira ecornuta)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Insects List


American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

chalk-fronted corporal (Ladona julia)

eastern tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma americanum)

eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

monarch (Danaus plexippus)


chalk-fronted corporal

eastern tent caterpillar




Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Mammals List

  whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)   whitetail deer  



One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:

Special Concern

northern oak fern (Gymnocarpium robertianum)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Central Rich Dry Pine Woodland FDc24

Jack Pine - (Bush Honeysuckle) Woodland: Bracken Subtype FDc24a1

Red Pine - White Pine Forest FDc34a

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland: Balsam Fir Subtype FDn33a1

Sedge Meadow WMn82b

White Cedar Swamp (Northcentral) FPn63b

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp WMn82a



American cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

black spruce (Picea mariana)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada anemone (Anemonastrum canadense)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

cream pea (Lathyrus ochroleucus)

downy arrowwood (Viburnum rafinesqueanum var. rafinesqueanum)

downy Parlin’s pussytoes (Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax)

early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

jack pine (Pinus banksiana)

Maryland black snakeroot (Sanicula marilandica)

mountain blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium montanum var. montanum)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum)

orange hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

purple meadow-rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red baneberry (Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

rose twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes)

round-lobed hepatica (Anemone americana)

silvery cinquefoil (Potentilla argentea)

spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata)

spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

sulphur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

wolfberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis)

wood betony (Pedicularis canadensis ssp. canadensis)

woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana)


Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry)

Anemone americana (round-lobed hepatica)

Anemonastrum canadense (Canada anemone)

Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax (downy Parlin’s pussytoes)

Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum (northern lady fern)

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Cicuta maculata (spotted water hemlock)

Clintonia borealis (bluebead lily)

Cornus alternifolia (pagoda dogwood)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (woodland strawberry)

Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Heracleum maximum (American cow parsnip)

Lathyrus ochroleucus (cream pea)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (American hophornbeam)

Pedicularis canadensis ssp. canadensis (wood betony)

Picea glauca (white spruce)

Picea mariana (black spruce)

Pilosella aurantiaca (orange hawkweed)

Pinus banksiana (jack pine)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil)

Potentilla recta (sulphur cinquefoil)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Sanicula marilandica (Maryland black snakeroot)

Sisyrinchium montanum var. montanum (mountain blue-eyed grass)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes (rose twisted-stalk)

Symphoricarpos occidentalis (wolfberry)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow-rue)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue)

Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Viburnum rafinesqueanum var. rafinesqueanum (downy arrowwood)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Zizia aurea (golden alexanders)


American cow parsnip

black cherry



Canada anemone

common evening primrose

common tansy

golden alexanders

fragrant bedstraw

northern bedstraw

orange hawkweed

prairie rose

red baneberry

red clover

white clover

wild columbine

wood betony







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